Being a sufferer of depression I know that there will always be a certain amount of variability to my moods, and even with my medication I know there will always be the occasional bad day. There will always be things that I have a higher than average amount of difficulty coping with, and there will always be things that I flat out can’t/shouldn’t do in case it triggers out an especially bad emotional tumble. But when it comes to the day to day variance I’m usually able to claw my way through within a day or two without having to do anything drastic.
This is a part of my life with depression. I know it. I know how it ebbs and flows. I can handle it.
Then there are times, though, where the mood dip is bigger and more significant. These are the very bad times. There is usually an identifiable trigger point for them, such as a lot of stress at work, or a long stretch of really poor sleep. This time it was a joking comment my son’s bio-mom made about moving away to another city (presumably with Noah) because of how hot it is here, and the possibility of not having that kid in my life struck me down. It is slightly interesting how something small can have such a huge on my psyche, but mostly it is terrifying to know and see just how easily I can be tossed back down into my own personal hell in my mind.
Right now I am going through a major depressive episode, one of the worst I have had in years. Days of crying and crying, deep suffocating sadness, anxiety and fear without knowing why or what I’m so terrified of, feeling catastrophically and irreparably broken. It is so bad that my husband was very hesitant to leave me home alone yesterday (I called in sick) because he was worried that I would self harm. Thankfully that has never been a manifestation of my depression, but at the same time I do end up binge eating which is undeniably harmful. I’m not suicidal, but lifelong binge eating and morbid obesity isn’t exactly a non-issue. I reassured my husband that I won’t hurt myself, that the worst damage I’m likely to do to myself is eat so much that I get a stomach ache (which is exactly what happened). Food is one of the few things that my brain views as “good” when I am in this state, one of the few self-soothing activities I have when my depression is this bad. It is hard not to indulge it. I become so desperate for any sort of reprieve from these feelings that eating to the point of physical pain becomes preferable. I know people say that they “eat their feelings” but when I am like this I am eating so that I stop feeling for a while. Eating and sleeping are the only ways I get breaks in this seemingly endless onslaught of horrible feelings and thoughts eroding my self worth and destroying my life, so I do a lot of both.
One particularly horrible thing my depression likes to do is convince me that my marriage is about to end, that my husband is going to finally get fed up with having a broken wife. My disease tells me, very convincingly, that no matter how infrequent these bad periods are for me, they are still a huge nuisance and inconvenience for my husband and my good days aren’t good enough to warrant putting up with me on my bad depression days. Because, really, who would ever want to put up with this if they don’t have to? No one is perfect, fine, but I have trouble understanding how or why anyone would put up with having a spouse who goes through times like this. He must live in daily fear of when the next bad period will hit.
It is hard not believing it when I am in the midst of one of my bad depressive episodes like I am now. I mean, look at me: I am broken and crying. I am emotionally unavailable to him, unable to show him the love and caring and affection he deserves. Unable to be the friend and lover and partner that he married and deserves. I can’t be the wife I want to be when I am like this, and that makes it worse. It makes my depression worse and it makes it so god damned easy to believe that he is going to divorce me because of it.
This disease is absolutely diabolical because it is self feeding. When I have bad episodes like this I start feeling angry and upset for having depression in the first place. I get depressed about being depressed. I get depressed over the effects the depression is having on my life, my career, my marriage, my relationship with my kid, my relationship with my friends, my health… because really, depression spreads and infects until it touches every aspect of my life. My life IS depression during these times.
I’m waiting for this episode to pass. I’m doing what I can to self-care. I’m getting the sleep that I need. I’m getting out and about with people as much as I can. I’m trying to engage in things that give me any small amount of pleasure.
This is a waiting game. I’m waiting to feel better. I will, eventually feel better.